Patrick J. Cunningham, 79, athletic director at Woodson High School until 1975, died of brain cancer June 13 at his home in Springfield.

He was a native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and a graduate of Mansfield University in Pennsylvania.

He received a master's degree in education from George Peabody College.

Mr. Cunningham served in the Army in Europe during World War II and received a Purple Heart after being wounded by shrapnel during the D-day invasion of France.

He began his teaching career in Brownsville, Tex. He moved to the Washington area in 1950 and joined the staff of Fairfax High School.

Mr. Cunningham was the first athletic director at Groveton High School and at Woodson, which named its football stadium in his honor.

He was a human resources specialist for the Fairfax County school system until 1978.

Mr. Cunningham was a founder of the Northern Virginia Athletic Directors, Administrators and Coaches Association. He was also a member of the Fairfax County Retired Teachers Association, the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Connie Cunningham, of Springfield; four children, Patrick Cunningham Jr. of Manassas, Eileen Simonik of Belle Mead, N.J., Linda Gentzel of Richmond and Wendy Warlick of Spotsylvania, Va.; and 11 grandchildren.